Geordie Williamson was an invited speaker at the 2022 Fields Medal Symposium: Akshay Venkatesh, held over 17–19 October 2022 at the Fields Institute for Research in Mathematical Sciences in Toronto, Canada. Professor Williamson’s talk on 18 October, “What can the working mathematician expect from deep learning?”, presented a crash course into machine learning for mathematical fields that align with Professor Venkatesh’s research.
The 2022 Fields Medal Symposium honoured Akshay Venkatesh (Fields Medal 2018) and explored the current and potential impact of his work. Professor Venkatesh was only the second Australian to win a Fields Medal, and was recognised for his synthesis of analytic number theory, homogeneous dynamics, topology and representation theory. His work has resolved long-standing problems in areas such as the equidistribution of arithmetic objects. For his insightful work across multiple domains, he has developed a reputation as one of the “great connectors” of mathematics.
As described by the Institute, the Symposium for Professor Venkatesh addressed “The Changing Face of Mathematical Research” where speakers from diverse fields will address the influx of new perspectives on the nature of research and of proof. Given the evolving technological landscape we are living in, it is a topic very much of the moment and one that acknowledges the inextricable relationship between research and its context.
The Fields Institute is a centre for mathematical research activity that brings together mathematicians from Canada and abroad, from academia, business, industry and financial institutions. The Symposium, was geared towards mathematicians, researchers, postdoctoral scholars, graduate students and practitioners who use mathematics in an important way.